Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Benefit Benetint, Posietint, and High Beam Review and Swatches

Earlier this year, Benefit had a trio of minis of three of their most popular bottles: rosy-red Benetint, warm pink Posietint, and pale pink glowy High Beam for a mere $15. I'd been dying to try Benetint and Posietint for years, but was not about to pay $28 (now $29, great) for something I wasn't sure I'd like, so I was thrilled to see this set. Regular readers know that I have the world's oiliest, shiniest skin, so a highlighter is really not something I get much use out of (which is sad, because so many highlighters are just so pretty), but I wanted the other two products enough to accept it. I'm always looking for a great long-wear, natural lip product, and I hoped that Benetint and/or Posietint would fit the bill. Each product comes in a mini bottle, similar to a nail polish bottle, with a little brush––very cute, and given the formulas, pretty functional.
Left to right: Benetint, High Beam, Posietint
So, Benetint first. Benefit touts this as a lip and cheek stain, though I got it for the former purpose, since cream/liquid blushes slide off my face (not to mention that the act of rubbing a stain in makes my cheeks redder than the stain itself). Benetint is very watery, definitely a full-on liquid, tinted a berry-red-rose that smells like roses (and tastes like terrible, very bitter).
One swipe Benetint blended (top) and not (bottom)
It's not very blendable because it's so watery, but as long as you work really quickly, it's manageable on cheeks, and the little brush is actually really handy for lip application. I find I need to build up a lot for it to hang around; I don't know what it is about my skin, but it just sucks the pigment up and noms it into oblivion. I can do 3 or 4 layers on my lips, and within 5 minutes, it's all but disappeared from my upper lip (I don't know why that's the worst offender) and has become spotty and uneven on my lower. I have tried everything to mitigate this, from putting on lip balm beforehand (right beforehand and 30 minutes beforehand) to exfoliating to waiting a few minutes between layers, and every combination thereof, but nothing makes it stick around. And even if the tint did stay, I don't think I would get much use out of it, because I find it dries my lips out something terrible. For me, it's a complete wash. However! Many people swear by it, and there might just be something weird with my lips, because I have yet to find a lip stain that does even a bit of what it claims to. $29 for 0.4 oz, available from Sephora and BenefitGrade: F
Note: I'm grading these as if they were the full-size products, so they're getting a 1 for price, because $26-29 is ridiculous. If they ever come back in the set, though, you can bump these grades up by 2/3 or so. Benetint would still get an F, but it would be an F+ instead, woohoo?

I wasn't expecting Posietint to work much for me, because I prefer a brighter/darker lip than it gives, but turns out I like it better than the Benetint. The texture is much more forgiving, a creamy gel, though I learned the hard way that you have to blend immediately unless you want it to stain unevenly, because it starts sinking in right away, even if you don't see it.
taken this summer, unblended

Blended, but see how there's the darker part? That was where I let it sit for ~30 seconds. Shit works fast.
I think it's changed color somewhat over the past few months, because the pictures I took in June are not the same color as those I took in November, and I don't think it can be attributed solely to the lighting conditions (which were different, I will say). When it's newer, it's a warm, happy pink, but the last time I used it it was cooler and brighter, closer to hot pink.
(Blurry, sorry!) picture from November.
Weird, right? It doesn't give my lips much color, so I'm not even sure how long it really lasts (can't tell a difference between wearing it and not), but it doesn't dry my lips out and make them as uncomfortable as Benetint does, so that's a plus. It also doesn't smell or taste like anything, which is also awesome. I find it works best on cheeks, and gives a very nice, natural flush, but again, I don't do liquid/cream blushes, so it's not terribly useful for me. Between the better texture, lack of offensive taste/smell, and more comfortable wear, I definitely like Posietint better, but I can honestly say I've used it maybe twice in the past 5 months. $29 for 0.42 oz, available from Sephora and BenefitGrade: C

Lastly, High Beam, the one item I had no expectations for. Ironically, it's the one I think of most fondly, though I haven't gotten really any use out of it, either. It has the same creamy gel texture as Posietint, but it's a very pale cool pink pearl.
High Beam blended (top) and not (bottom)
It blends beautifully and gives a very subtle, natural highlight; people who use it recommend putting it on the tops of the cheekbones, in your cupid's bow, under your browbone or in the inner corner of your eye, or along your temples––basically, wherever light naturally hits.

Another pic of it blended, this time in sunlight, to better show the shimmer

You can also mix it in with your foundation or moisturizer for an all-over glow. I found that it tended to get cakey if I wore it over mineral makeup, and didn't show up at all if I wore it under MMU, so I would suggest using this only with liquid foundation (and if you wear powder on top, put on more highlighter than you think you need, because that will mask it some). If you like highlighters, are cooler complected (though both Karen from MBB and Christine from Temptalia have used and liked High Beam, and they are both much warmer than me) and are interested in a nice liquid one, High Beam is worth checking out on your next trip to Sephora. $26 for 0.45 oz, available from Sephora and BenefitGrade: B(-)

Looking at these grades and the amount of use I've gotten out of the products, I might be tempted to think my $15 was ill-spent. But then I remember that I have now successfully checked off 2 things from my HG Lip Search list, things that had been on it for years, and that, my dear friends, is priceless. Even better, one of my friends was willing to take these off my hands and give them a try herself, so I don't feel like they're going completely to waste, yay! But I'm still on the hunt for my HG lip product...

Just in case they ever bring this set back, here's a grade breakdown for the whole shebang:
$15 for ~0.4 oz
Quality: 8
Effectiveness: 3
Ease of Use: 4.5
Senses: 3.5
Pigmentation: 4
Duration: 2
Consistency: 3.75
Price: 3.75
Value: 4.5
Grade: C

Have you tried Benetint, Posietint, or High Beam? What did you think of them? I'd love to hear what your experience was!
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